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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
01.20.11
Division Highlights

Contents
Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) Human-in-the-Loop Simulation Completed
The fourth in a series of human-in-the-loop studies to develop requirements for implementing the Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) in the field were completed in December 2010. In this study, subject-matter-experts (SMEs) from Denver Center evaluated new functionality in EDA, specifically the use of advisories with fixed versus dynamic start points, and EDA's ability to operate with trajectory uncertainty. The study used the Air Traffic Control simulator at the Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility (CVSRF) at NASA Ames Research Center and employed the Multi-Aircraft Control System (MACS) software to simulate the air traffic, controller radar displays, and pseudo-pilot control stations. Air traffic data as well as video and audio recordings of controller radar displays and pseudo pilot positions were captured for subsequent analysis.

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Human-in-the-loop Simulation of Mechanism for Incorporating User Preferences into Air Traffic Management
On December 15-17, 2010, a contractor team led by George Mason University conducted a human-in-the-loop simulation of a new mechanism for incorporating airspace user preferences into air traffic management decisions. The mechanism is based on “free-pass permits” that users can assign to their flights to exempt them from delays. The number of permits allocated to each user is proportional to the number of flights scheduled by the user, and users can buy and sell permits from each other. Simulation participants had experience working for, or studying, airlines that enabled them to buy, sell, and use permits as an airline would. Initial participant feedback indicates that this concept could be useful for airlines once they learned how to utilize permits effectively. The contractor team will demonstrate this concept and present the results of this simulation to NASA researchers at a contract final briefing at Ames Research Center in January 2011.

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Weather Translation NRA kick-off meeting
On January 14, 2011, the Traffic Flow Management (TFM) research team hosted a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) kickoff meeting at NASA Ames Research Center that included Metron Aviation, Mosaic ATM, and Sensis Corporation. The team members presented their plans and a wide range of approaches and outcomes for improving weather translation models for TFM. The outcomes include maturing existing weather translation models, developing probabilistic capacity models of en-route airspace and airports, evaluating translation models in the Future Air traffic management Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) and developing concepts to use weather translation models for strategic TFM. The teams recognized there could be areas where their work could be complementary and expressed interest in collaboration where appropriate. The effort will now include a monthly meeting between the three teams and NASA to share their respective progress.

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A tower air traffic controller monitors surface traffic during an experiment at FutureFlight Central.
Airport Control Tower Simulator

Facility upgrade to support Safe and Efficient Surface Operations (SESO) research
The airport control tower simulator at Ames was upgraded to enable SESO researchers to conduct increasingly more complex and high-fidelity human-in-the-loop experiments. With funding from the American Recovery and Re-investment Act, the simulator’s outdated network and computing technology was replaced and upgraded to provide better realism, increased performance and reliability during heavy simulation traffic load scenarios, and improved connectivity that will enable integrated simulations between tower/surface and terminal environments. The simulation platform will now be able to more accurately simulate both surface traffic on radar displays and enable out-the-window visuals that are needed for a robust evaluation of surface traffic management concepts. The simulator will also enable researchers to conduct human-in-the-loop simulations to reduce risk prior to operational testing. The upgraded systems are in place, tested, and available for the next surface scheduling evaluations that follow the development of the Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) concept.

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